Guess which of these stoves isn’t in my kitchen anymore

Hint: not the old-looking one.

On a whim, a few weeks ago I removed the microwave from my kitchen. It took up too much space, and I realized that all I really used it for was to heat up frozen dinners I shouldn’t be eating anyway. Reheating food and cooking soups and such? That I do on the big stove. It’s better that way. (Microwaved pizza is nasty. It’s so much better when I reheat it on the pizza stone in the oven.) So I decided to try to go a few months without the microwave to see if I miss it enough to bring it back.

So far, the only time I’ve missed it much is when I was trying to de-crystallize some honey. Putting it in the microwave is the quickest way to do it. But it’s not worth keeping it around just for that.

I didn’t have a microwave until I was well into my adulthood, so I think I should be fine without it.

Anyone else given up on their microwave?

Pinterest pinner of the moment: Craftsman Junky

Craftsman Junky's collection of pinboards -- this is only a partial section of the list. Click through to see the full page.

Craftsman Junky’s collection of pinboards — this is only a partial section of the list. Click through to see the full page.

Instead of choosing one Pinterest board to write about this week, I’ve chosen a collection of pinboards by a single pinner: Craftsman Junky. Craftsman Junky is actually Sharon from the Laurelhurst 1912 Craftsman blog about renovating a 1912 Craftsman home in Portland, Oregon. Since I have a 1911 Craftsman bungalow in Seattle, this is relevant to my interests.

The blog is great itself, but the collection of images and links that Sharon has compiled on Pinterest is really stunning. Check out this list of boards:

  • House Interiors (early 1900s)
  • House Exteriors (early 1900s)
  • Craftsman Dining Rooms
  • Craftsman Living Rooms
  • Craftsman Bedrooms
  • Craftsman Remodel
  • Early 1900s Bathrooms
  • Remodeled Bathrooms
  • Early 1900s Kitchens
  • Remodeled Kitchens
  • Shopping Resources
  • Craftsman Furniture
  • Craftsman Stencils, Wallpaper and Paint Colors
  • Early 1900s Tile

There are more, including collections of early 20th Century clothing. If you have an old house, or any interest in Arts and Crafts style of the early 1900s, these are great boards to follow.

Hewn and Hammered

Hewn and Hammered is a brand-new weblog about Craftsman, Mission, and Prairie design and architecture. The blog isn’t just about house restoration, but will also discuss the work of current and historical A&C artists and craftspeople, and include articles about the history and philosophy of the Arts and Crafts movement.

The site is edited by the editor of the excellent Typographica web site, so it ought to be good.

Bad neighbor.

Ken Woolcott bought a historic house on Queen Anne Hill — a 1914 house by one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s prot?g?s that was “one of the 10 or 15 most significant houses in the city.” Did he restore it? No. He had it demolished without even allowing a serious attempt at salvage.

The secretiveness of the project indicates that he knew there would be objections, and so the demolition was done without even giving preservationists and historians a chance to document the house and salvage reusable items. The selfishness of such an act (and the weak justifications given by Mr. Woolcott) sadden me greatly.

I understand that he owns the property now, but when one buys a historic property a certain responsibility comes with it. He could have allowed the home to be moved, studied, or salvaged before building his new dream home (which I imagine will be a monstrosity). He didn’t. He may have financial wealth, but he’s awfully poor in the civic duty area.

The height of 1901 style

Today I visited the Stimson-Green Mansion on First Hill, since I am researching it for a paper. Here are some photos I took. The house was built in 1901. It is strongly influenced by English Arts and Crafts, but is an Eclectic style — several rooms are Tudor, one is Empire style, one is a sort of Moorish style. All of it is incredibly well-crafted, and well-preserved. It’s amazing that the gilded burlap wall covering in the entry hall, for example, was not removed over the years. The painted design on it has been retouched, but it is otherwise original.

Mostly these are pictures of details within the house. The big pictures of the rooms and hallways, and the exterior, are easily found online and in books, but the details are harder to find, so I photographed those. Unfortunately I ran out of photo battery power so I didn’t get as many photos as I had hoped to get.

You can see other pictures and info about the house (including exterior shots and lots of stuff I didn’t get to photograph) at:

http://www.cityofseattle.net/commnty/histsea/projects/pr14.htm
http://www.historylink.org/_output.CFM?file_ID=2713
http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/seattle/s15.htm
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/pacificnw/2001/1104/living.html

Another step in the process

Went to the Bungalow Fair at Town Hall yesterday and saw some amazing stuff, none of which we can afford. Gorgeous antique furniture, silkscreen, watercolor and letterpress prints, William Morris wallpapers, pottery, etc. There was a book I really wanted: a 100 year-old art book with tons of amazing engravings — but it was $400.

Since we couldn’t improve the house with any of that, I came home and sanded the spackled walls in the foyer until my arms gave out. It’s a little more than half done (yes, I am a wimp), and the next steps are: finish sanding, get Jason to spackle some of the ceiling bits I can’t reach, clean the walls, tape, primer, and paint. (Then there is some floor work but I don’t want to think about that right now.)

This is the slowest renovation ever.